Automatic cycle counters


Cycling Scotland has a network of over 100 automatic cycle counters across the country providing real-time cycle data.

Our counters are located in every local authority area in Scotland, and complement those that are managed by local authorities, Sustrans, and other active travel organisations.

Data from all cycle counters – whether urban or rural, on-road or off-road – is uploaded into the Cycling Open Data portal, to create the most comprehensive collection of cycling data of its kind in Scotland.

How do the cycle counters work?

The counters – which are inserted into the ground - use piezoelectric sensor technology, with the sensors installed parallel to each other, which can detect bikes in either a dedicated cycle lane or in mixed traffic. Around two thirds of the cycle counters are also fitted with a pedestrian counter. 

The counters are powered by battery which is charged via solar panel.

How do the counters know it’s a bike?

The bike detection algorithm can distinguish between bikes and other forms of traffic by measuring wheelbase, speed, and signal size. The algorithm can detect between bicycles, motorbikes, vehicular traffic, and non-motorised traffic such as prams, pushchairs, and scooters.